Twitter Plans to Close Deal with Elon Musk on Original $44-Billion Bid, Says JPMorgan

Twitter is planning to close its deal with billionaire Elon Musk on his original $44-billion bid, said JPMorgan on Wednesday. The deal is likely to be closed on previously agreed price and terms, said Anu Aiyengar, the global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The closure of the deal will put to rest months of speculation that the erratic entrepreneur will abandon the takeover. This is the clearest sign yet that Musk plans to comply with a Delaware court judge’s deadline to complete the transaction by October 28.

Earlier this month, he had proposed to proceed with his original $44-billion bid calling for an end to a lawsuit by the social media giant that could have forced him to pay up. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are Twitter’s financial advisers.

On Tuesday, too, Bloomberg had reported that Musk had pledged to close his Twitter acquisition by October 28 in a video conference call with bankers helping fund the deal. The report cited people with knowledge of the matter.

A report by Reuters also quoted a source as saying Musk had notified co-investors to help fund his acquisition of the social media firm. Equity investors, including Sequoia Capital, Binance, Qatar Investment Authority and others have received the requisite paperwork for the financing commitment from Musk’s lawyers, the source added.

The Bloomberg report also stated that banks committed to fund Musk’s Twitter buyout have finished putting together the final debt financing agreement and are in the process of signing necessary documents.

Twitter shares jumped on the news and were trading up 3 per cent at $52.95 on Tuesday, closer to Musk’s offer price of $54.20. He has pledged $46.5 billion in equity and debt financing for the acquisition, which covers the $44 billion price tag and closing costs.

Banks, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp, have committed to provide $13 billion of debt financing to support the deal. Equity investors, including Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will pitch in with $7.1 billion.

Calling himself an advocate of free speech, Musk has criticised Twitter’s approach to monitoring violent or hateful content that has led to bans on many prominent conservative voices.

(With agency inputs)

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